The effects of aging can impact various parts of your body, including your feet. You may wonder, what happens to an aging foot? Depending on your current physical health, health history, and even genetics, a variety of issues may occur. The good news is that there are so many treatments and solutions to common foot problems related to aging. Below you will find the most common issues and what treatments work to resolve or improve the issue.
What Happens to an Aging Foot?
You may experience one or more of the following foot problems. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort for more than one week based on the following issues, contact a podiatrist for support. They can help provide you with professional treatment options with lasting results.
Fat Pad Atrophy:
The bottoms of your feet have fatty pads that help cushion your bones when you walk and move around. However, as you age, those pads can thin leaving your bones more susceptible to pain and discomfort. Depending on how much fat has been lost, activities such as walking can be highly painful. One of the most effective long-term solutions for this is fat pad augmentation. Depending on your unique issue, the procedure can either restore some of the fat lost, or reposition it for better foot support.
While cracked heels may seem like more of a cosmetic issue, those who have experienced it understand that it can be uncomfortable. Cracked heels often come with age as your skin has lost some of its natural elastin and oils. Elastin helps keep your skin stay tight and supple, while natural oils help to keep them moisturized. Without regular foot care, your heels can crack and get hard. Using a pumice stone to get rid of dead skin, moisturizing daily, and even getting regular pedicures can help keep your heels healthy. However, if you are experiencing redness, swelling, or have diabetes, contact a podiatrist for professional help.
People of all ages can be impacted by ingrown toenails, but it is much more common in older adults. An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of your nail grows into your skin (instead of above or beside it). The issue is most often found on your big toe(s), and if left untreated, it can get infected, swell, and be very painful. In minor cases, you can simply keep your toenail longer and avoid wearing really tight shoes. However, some cases are more severe and may require medical intervention. If you notice that your ingrown toenail is red, has pus coming from it, or is very painful, contact a podiatrist for support.
These are painful bony bumps that form on the base of your big toe. You can identify bunions fairly easily as your big toe points towards your other four toes, and the joint of your big toe will often stick out the other way. Bunions can cause swelling, redness, and soreness around your big toe. This is often caused by wearing poorly fitted shoes, injury, and even genetics. Treating bunions early on is important when it comes to your health as it can impact how you walk. It’s important to talk with a skilled podiatrist and consider treatment options as surgery can effectively treat the issue.
As you age, your bones become weaker due to the reduction in bone density. This makes it much easier to fracture your bones. A fracture can take much longer to heal when you are older, so it’s important to focus on prevention. This requires a consistent healthy diet, regular exercise, and possibly supplements to overcome the challenges associated with bone density issues. Talk with a medical professional about your bone health to ensure you are proactively addressing the issue.
Podiatrist in Santa Barbara
If you are concerned about the health of your feet, contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. They are skilled in a variety of treatment options and have experience working with patients who have age-related foot problems. Contact the top podiatrist in Santa Barbara today for an appointment!